The one that routinely chews me up and spits me out.
In 2011, I trained for a little over a month.
In 2012, I trained for only weeks. They also increased the bike course to 30 miles.
I almost wrote it off this year because I just don't have time for 30 mile bike rides with bricks. My Achilles heal each year has been endurance -- specifically around the 121st minute. But then I read that the bike course was changed again to 24 miles and gifted an entry. It is hard to turn away a trail race - it is impossible to turn away a free trail race. It is hard to turn away free anything.
You know those two-week old, nearly-stale cookies cookies that the grocery store will pile into a huge bowl before throwing them away? And then everyone, even the man who just picked his nose, reaches into the bowl to select a cookie? I love those cookies. I even once proudly collected them in a cookie jar.
Day 1: Presidents Day. The token long workout:
26 minute trail run at South Mountain, 1 hr 25 minute bike ride (lots of hills in the last half hour), 34 minute trail run - scoping out all available hills. 3.3 mile run / 28.1 mile bike / 4.3 mile run = 2 hours, 25 minutes. An entire hour longer than my normal "long" workout.
Day 2: Track. My legs were tired from that extra hour the day before but I didn't want to blow off my running partner. 800 x 4 in 3:00...it felt like we did five...in other words, did not feel good.
Day 3: Power meter bike ride. 1 hour ride (20 miles) with 8 minutes at "race pace" x 3. I actually was not allowed to view the numbers so I am not sure what that pace was.
Day 4: Mid-distance run. Easy 9.1 miles.
Day 5: Trainer bike ride. 64 minutes easy minutes . Why 64 minutes? Because that is how long it took me to read all my favorite blogs.
Day 6: 8 Mile trail race. Described below. Hill training?
Day 7: Complete rest day.
Day 8: Long easy workout. 28.5 mile easy bike ride bricked with 4.1 mile jog = 2 hours.
I went to Tuesday track but received a taper exercise - only 400x8, a little faster than 5K pace (mid 1:20s, 90 seconds RI). I also went swimming a few times this week but that is irrelevant. I will taper until race day (Sunday).
In retrospect, this is what President's Day week looked like last year - 40 mile bike rides! 5:50 miles! 12.5 mile runs! I have not done any of those things in quite a long time.
I may have had more speed last year, but this year I have more experience. And wisdom.
This year, I WILL NOT RUN THAT FIRST RUN TOO FAST.
Continuing retrospection, this time last year I took the kids to the train park for the first time. I thought Hayden would love the train park because, well, he loves trains. His reaction was unexpected - he screamed and cried until his face bright red - refusing to ride the train. Here is a never-seen-before photo of us last year. Ironically, he is wearing a Thomas shirt:
I decided it was time to try again, but his dormant trauma awakened as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. I took him out of his car seat and he flung himself on the gravel ground, kicking and screaming as if I was trying to make him eat brussels sprouts.
I promised him that I would not make him ride the train. Partly because I want him to trust me, and partly because I don't want my 45-pound three year old to realize that he can overpower me. So, we had a nice lunch and looked at the train.
I guess just like one does not get magically faster, little boys do not magically lose their fears. But, I was hoping maybe they would outgrow them!
He refused to ride a horse so the kids had to sit on the boring bench. I always wondered if anyone ever chose to sit on a bench, so this answers that aging question.